By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The first time the Goshen 10-11 All-Stars met Osolo in the Little League District 14 tournament — during pool play — Goshen romped with a 17-5 win.
Goshen coach Perry Haimes expected a much tighter contest when the two teams met Tuesday night for the district championship.
He was right.
Goshen got out to a 6-1 lead before having to hold on for dear life in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 7-6 win at the Concord Little League facility.
With the win, Goshen advances to next week’s state tournament, also slated for Concord.
Haimes said one of the big keys to Tuesday night’s win was his team keeping its poise when things started to unravel in the bottom of the sixth.
Osolo, trailing 7-3 entering its last at-bat, rallied with three runs in the frame and had the tying run on when relief pitcher Braxton Kincaid fanned Osolo’s Thad Solomon to close out the win for Goshen.
Kincaid relieved starter Porter Revoir in the sixth. Revoir turned in a masterful performance, striking out nine in five innings of work and giving up just three runs.
Revoir said he was glad to give way to his teammate to close things out.
“I felt pretty good out there,” Revoir said. “My fastball was sharp. But Braxton does a great job closing out games for us.”
Revoir said during the Osolo rally, he and his teammates stuck together and remembered what their coaches stress regularly.
“Don’t get down on each other,” Revoir said. “Pick each other up.”
It’s that message Haimes was glad to see his team internalize for a time when it was needed.
“We want them to have fun, and we want them to support each other out there,” Haimes said.
Goshen set the tone for the night with three runs in the first, With one out, Ryan Harmelink drew a walk, and scored on a Joseph Good triple. Revoir doubled him home and Goshen picked up another run later on a passed ball.
Goshen added a single run in the second, two in the third, and another run on a wild pitch in the fifth.
Osolo got a run in the bottom of the second, then a pair in the fourth on a two-run homer by Ryan Charles.
In the bottom of the sixth, three straight hits loaded the bases; a run scored on a walk and a groundout got Osolo to within 7-5.
An attempted bunt led to a great play at the plate by Good, the Goshen catcher, cutting down an Osolo runner.
Another infield single by Charlie Maxwell plated a run to cut the Goshen lead to 7-6 before Kincaid was able to get the game-winning strikeout.
Revoir, Kincaid and Good all had two hits apiece to lead the Goshen plate attack.